December 31, 2011

A pun from history

I came across this pun in very poor taste in a book about the Louisiana State University law school.
During the time when Dwight D. "Ike" Eisenhower was campaigning for president and Adolph Eichmann was on trial in Jerusalem, a sign appeared [on a law school dorm] saying "We Like Eich." 
W. Lee Hargrave, LSU Law: The Louisiana State University Law School from 1906-1977 (2004), p. 203.
I never would have thought of that one! For the sake of exactness: Eisenhower's last campaign would have been in 1956, and the trial of Eichmann took place in 1961.

December 12, 2011

Bodegas and bodegas

A recent visit to Spain reveals a trans-Atlantic distinction in the meaning of the word "bodega." When an American, at least in the northeastern U.S., thinks of a bodega, he thinks of something like Latin Americans mean by the word:

I found this picture at, but
it shows up often if you look for "bodega" on the internet.

In Spain, however, a bodega is a wine cellar or winery.

Thanks to Bodegas Arzuaga-Navarro.

The Diccionario of the Real Academia Español has a useful entry.

Another "word of the day": A "bodegón" is a cafe, or a genre scene in painting that features food.

December 3, 2011


"Cannon-fodder" are the unfortunate mass of soldiery, doomed early in the battle because of inadequate equipment, training or leadership. Webster's Third International Dictionary traces it to the German Kanonenfutter. Then, Kanonenfutter is traced by German sources back to English. That's based on Shakespeare's image of "food for powder" in Henry IV, Part 1, IV: 2 ("Tut, tut! good enough to toss; food for powder, food for powder. They'll fill a pit as well as better"). See Adolf Bach, Geschichte der Deutschen Sprache, p. 315 (8th ed. 1965); Brockhaus' Konversationslexikon vol. 10, p. 98 (1894-96). Wikipedia's articles on cannon-fodder and Kanonenfutter suggest a circa-1814 French use of a similar term as the origin of the English "cannon-fodder."

Another notice for "fodder" today--Frederick I Barbarossa, German emperor in the mid-twelfth century, had the right to fodrum in the Italian territories he controlled, "a right to fodder for the royal army, and then to a payment in lieu of fodder." Geoffrey Barraclough, The Origins of Modern Germany, p. 180 (1984).